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Gerri Detweiler

In Personal Finance, Managing Debt

Gerri Detweiler focuses on helping people understand their credit and debt, and writes about those issues, as well as financial legislation, budgeting, debt recovery and savings strategies. She is also the co-author of Debt Collection Answers: How to Use Debt Collection Laws to Protect Your Rights, and Reduce Stress: Real-Life Solutions for Solving Your Credit Crisis as well as host of TalkCreditRadio.com.

How Soon Can a Debt Collector Sue Me?

Managing Debt

How Soon Can a Debt Collector Sue Me?

How Soon Can a Debt Collector Sue Me?

It took a debt collector less than a month to sue our reader, Monique. She received a letter about a past-due debt and then, less than a month later, a court summons. She’s made arrangements to pay, but she is worried about how this will affect her credit. “I’m not trying to get out of paying,”... Read More

How to Keep Track of Your Spending on Multiple Credit Cards

Credit Cards

How to Keep Track of Your Spending on Multiple Credit Cards

How to Keep Track of Your Spending on Multiple Credit Cards

When people say they are afraid of credit cards, what most of them are saying is that they think — for themselves, anyway — that credit cards inevitably lead to debt. And it’s true that credit cards can certainly make it easier to go into debt. For example, if you go into a store, intending... Read More

How Long Can Charge-Offs Hurt My Credit?

Credit Score

How Long Can Charge-Offs Hurt My Credit?

How Long Can Charge-Offs Hurt My Credit?

Most of us know that a late payment hurts our credit scores, and that paying on time is important to maintain good credit scores. But what happens when a debt is charged off and it keeps reporting negatively? Will it keep hurting your credit month in and month out? Our reader asks: I have an... Read More

How to Have ‘The Talk’ With Your Doctor

Personal Finance

How to Have ‘The Talk’ With Your Doctor

How to Have ‘The Talk’ With Your Doctor

On TV, people seem to speak comfortably about sexual dysfunction and incontinence products during ads that run during the news hour. But you get in the doctor’s office and get tongue-tied because you need to ask about something really embarrassing: what your health care is going to cost. (And often we don’t. We get our... Read More

How Borrowing a Friend’s Car Can Wreck Your Credit

Credit Score

How Borrowing a Friend’s Car Can Wreck Your Credit

How Borrowing a Friend’s Car Can Wreck Your Credit

Asking to borrow someone else’s car can be awkward. But it can be a whole lot more awkward if you’re smart about it. Before you take the keys, you should also ask the owner about their auto insurance. If you borrow a car and are in an accident, but the insurance is inadequate, your credit... Read More

The Safe Way to Buy Things on Craigslist

Personal Finance

The Safe Way to Buy Things on Craigslist

The Safe Way to Buy Things on Craigslist

I was sure my husband had just been scammed, and that he would never see the $1,500 cash he had just spent on a dirt bike he found on Craigslist. He had driven about two hours from our home to buy the bike but when he tried to register it at DMV, he discovered he... Read More

Which of Your Bills Will Go Up If the Fed Raises Interest Rates?

Managing Debt

Which of Your Bills Will Go Up If the Fed Raises Interest Rates?

Which of Your Bills Will Go Up If the Fed Raises Interest Rates?

While the Federal Reserve declined to raise interest rates this week, interest rates are still expected to go up sometime this year, which is great news if you’ve been discouraged by the next-to-nothing interest rates banks pay on your savings. But if you have a home equity line of credit or a credit card with... Read More

3 Reasons You Shouldn’t Cancel Old Credit Cards

Credit Cards

3 Reasons You Shouldn’t Cancel Old Credit Cards

3 Reasons You Shouldn’t Cancel Old Credit Cards

I never thought I’d use my credit card from a certain big box home supply store again. One of their policies had ticked me off, and their competitor’s store was closer to my home, so I figured I was done with them. But I didn’t cancel the card. I just tucked it away in a... Read More

How I Paid Off $100K of Debt With a Side Job

Managing Debt

How I Paid Off $100K of Debt With a Side Job

How I Paid Off $100K of Debt With a Side Job

Nick Gabel had run a convenience store for about four years when the building he rented was sold. He wasn’t able to work out a deal to stay where he was, and he found himself both $100,000 in debt and without a job in early 1996. He said he didn’t want to file bankruptcy because... Read More

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